God’s Faithfulness in the Planting and Watering | the Reach Nov 2022

Dear friends,

EPC WO global workers, S and C*, work with teammates that minister through a Christian bookstore in an area that is typical of traditional South Asia. People often come in to look at the books, talk, and discuss faith. S serves with these teammates by working in the bookshop a couple days a week. 

Seven years ago, a man, Sanjay*, came into the bookshop and threatened to blow it up because it was Christian. One of S and C’s teammates, Amal*, was there and, after this occasion, watched everyday for him to return. The next time Amal saw Sanjay outside near the shop, he invited him in for tea. Amal told Sanjay that even if he were to follow through with his threat, Amal was not afraid to die because he believed in Jesus. Rather, Amal was afraid for Sanjay’s soul, should he kill people. Over many years the bookstore remained, and their conversations continued. Amal would invite Sanjay for tea and share about the gospel.

A year ago, as the world was emerging from COVID, Sanjay returned to the bookshop. S was working and struck up a conversation with him. Sanjay was fascinated with America and enjoyed conversing and asking questions. He shared with S that he no longer believed in Islam and was searching for truth. S invited Sanjay to start reading the Bible with him – and Sanjay agreed! Recently, Sanjay came into the store and said he believed and would like to be called a Christian. 

We see here how God uses each of us; how some are doing the watering where others have put in the hard work of preparing the field and planting. Many of S and C’s interactions are made possible because of the years of investment in relationship within the community. For these global workers, it is humbling to be a part of this ministry and to be used by God alongside other believers. God is faithful in the planting and the watering. 

*Names removed or changed for security purposes.

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A Step Of Yes | The Reach October 2022

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your PARTNERSHIP in the GOSPEL from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 
Philippians 1:3-6

Dear friends,

One of my favorite poems over the past few years has been the well-known one by Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken. In it, Frost speaks about two roads diverging in a yellow wood and being regretful that he could not travel both. In some ways, my family and I have been standing at that proverbial fork in the road the last couple of months, longing to travel down both roads and questioning God about what our next path will be. Unlike Frost, perhaps, we have comfort knowing that God guides us down each road we take as we seek Him and follow His will. He is both sovereign and He is good.
It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that we bring the news that my family will be transitioning out of World Outreach at the end of this month. We are joy-filled because it is the LORD who calls us elsewhere, and we trust in His goodness and sovereignty.  But we are sad to come to the close of this rich season of partnership in the gospel.  This has not been an easy decision for us but one we have toiled over in hours of prayer and in concert with community.  With the LORD’s leading, we have decided to accept our local church’s call to enter pastoral ministry with opportunities to expand our local congregation’s global vision for the nations.
These past years working with World Outreach and getting to know so many of you has blessed and shaped me in many positive ways. We are a denomination that is full of gracious and obedient living in sincere partnership to each other. You all have taught me what it means “to count others more significant than yourselves,” in the ways you support and pray for our sent-ones of Gospel proclamation. Through my work with EPCWO, my vision for what it means to have a sharp focus on those with least access to the Gospel has increased. This will be a leading guide as I move on with a grateful heart for the honor its been serving the EPC in this role.

As our paths diverge for a season now, I am confident that our sovereign LORD will continue to use us all for His glory and even bring our paths together again for the sake of the Nations. I find it fitting in my spirit that a great saint, who passed onto the other side of the veil recently, left us this charge when we are standing, perhaps, at a fork in the road:

Let us all continue to take those steps of “yes” to further God’s Kingdom and see all peoples worshipping and following Jesus!

Grace, peace, and much love.

Jason Dunn
EPC World Outreach Associate Director

If I’m called to step into this role, what will be my greatest asset?
I asked this question 18 months ago during my final interview with the search committee before joining EPC World Outreach. A two-word answer came back to me, “Jason Dunn.” That answer has been validated repeatedly since my first day on the job. To work alongside like-minded, passionate people aligned with the greatest cause in the history of mankind, the fulfillment of the Great Commission, is all I’ve ever wanted to do since my freshman year in college. The Lord has been gracious to allow me to work with great, godly, talented men and women over the years and while I expected that to be true here in World Outreach, I didn’t have to wait a single minute to experience it through Jason. I thank the Lord for the time we’ve had to strive side-by-side for the faith of the gospel. As you read his announcement to follow God’s call to serve elsewhere you might experience the same mix of emotions that I had, sadness to part ways, but excitement for the opportunities God has in store for them. The contribution he has made, the investment in kingdom work and into the lives of all of us at WO and the EPC brings glory to His name and will bear fruit for years to come and into eternity. To God and to Jason I only have two words, Thank You!
Gabriel de Guia
EPC World Outreach Executive Director

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World Outreach Annual Report | The Reach August 2022

Dear friends,

Catching divine glimpses into the work God is doing in and through EPC World Outreach has been an incredible privilege.

A significant focus this year since stepping into my role has been the development of the new World Outreach master plan and mission statement. The process used in drafting this version was unique in its history with extensive research and engagement utilized in order to involve WO global workers, key stakeholders, mission leaders, the World Outreach Committee (WOC) and the National Leadership Team (NLT). It was a seven-month, prayer-filled process, discerning the Lord’s continued call for us.

In the Annual Report, you’ll learn more about EPC World Outreach through numerical snapshots of what God is doing through our global work. You’ll also find three stories that capture the heart of our 5 strategic priorities of Prayer, Least Access Peoples, Partnership and Sending, Word and Deed, and Church Engagement. They are but a sampling of the faithfulness of our God, our global workers in their call and our EPC church partners.

May this booklet honor the Lord as we “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised.” – Psalm 96:3,4.

We at EPC World Outreach are honored to serve the Church and are grateful for the opportunity to link arms together with you in helping fulfill the Great Commission, looking toward the day where we see representatives of every tongue, tribe, and nation following Jesus and worshipping before God’s throne.

Grace and peace, 
Gabriel de Guia, EPC WO Executive Director

An Agent of Unity | the Reach April 2022

Dear friends,

I am thrilled to announce that after meeting with the World Outreach Committee and the National Leadership Team last week, both have officially recommended that the newest version of the World Outreach Master Plan be brought to the 2022 General Assembly for approval.

What is the World Outreach Master Plan you ask?

If you didn’t know, this is a governing document revised and brought before the GA every 3-5 years. We’re approaching 6 years since the last one. After hundreds of prayer-filled man hours over the last seven months, gathering input from key stakeholders, global workers, missions leaders, the World Outreach Committee, and the National Leadership Team, the Proposed Master Plan defines our mission and how we will serve the denomination in her calling to help fulfill the Great Commission. While simple, this document bears the weight of everyone who worked on it, prayed for it, and represents it in real-life ministry in the field. It also bears the weight of everyone who has gone before and built the history and foundation on which we stand.

As you familiarize yourself with it (link below), I invite you to pray that God would graciously use this as an agent of unity at General Assembly and the EPC for years to come.

While this document may be a fresh version, it’s composed of values and priorities that have been true and are being lived out. One recent example I’d like to highlight is related to “Church Engagement,” found in the Strategic Priorities section. In August, as Afghanistan was falling and a surge of refugees fled, God was preparing generous hearts within our EPC family. In November, World Outreach workers who had spent nearly two decades ministering in Afghanistan (and continue that work among Afghans in the US), alerted us to an opportunity – the need for Christian materials.

The Scriptures in Dari and Afghan Pashtun, a translation which they had worked on and recently completed, were desperately needed. Once out of reach because the translation didn’t exist; out of reach because of physical distance; now in the blink of an eye, both barriers removed for millions of Afghans. Eleven EPC churches and two families gave toward this effort to birth the first 10,000 print copies into existence. “Physical needs, food, water, clothing, are critical, but being able to give the word of God in their heart language is a gift that can last forever. And now we can,” said our WO workers.

There are many other stories of EPC churches currently engaged in ministry with Afghans. May we continue to lean into the opportunities God provides in faith as we live out the strategic priorities the Lord has given us.
Grateful to serve with you to help fulfill the Great Commission,
Gabriel de Guia
Executive Director, EPC World Outreach

Community Life

Muslim Ministry Network

Are you connecting with your Muslim neighbor through friendship, community assistance, or by teaching English? Do you want to meet others who are doing the same things? If so, we are looking for you! Click here for more information.

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If you feel called to support WO workers and ministry partners here and abroad, consider giving to the U.S. Muslim Ministries Project and the International Disaster Relief Fund. These funds are used to reach and support those in need, sharing the love of Christ.

Divine Opportunity | the Reach March 2022

Over four million Ukrainian refugees have fled their country in the last four weeks. World Outreach has been working with ministry partners on the ground in the surrounding countries to care for those who are impacted and displaced by the events of the last month. Similarly, there are over 600,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan having fled war in their country. World Outreach’s Mission Cohort took a trip in December 2021 to ministry partners in the area, to offer encouragement and support in their work and to share the love of Christ with Syrian refugees in the area. Two team members, Danny and David, share with you their experience; they were blessed to see eight people put their faith in Jesus during this College Missions Cohort trip: 2 from Syria, 2 from Yemen, and 2 from Iraq.

My much-beloved brothers and sisters,

It is with great pleasure that I write to you as a young man who is blessed to have been mentored by so many wonderful people in the EPC. For the past two years, I have participated in a World Outreach missions cohort of college-aged adults. This cohort was led by EPC World Outreach mobilizers: Mark and MJ, Saul and Jesse Huber, and Shawn and Lisa Stewart. The purpose of this cohort is to, as in all things, glorify God, as well as give young adults an opportunity to discern a possible calling to the cross-cultural missions field. The cohort does this by providing students with both hands-on experience and mentorship from global workers within the EPC.

The highlight of this cohort was a short-term mission trip to Jordan. During this trip, we partnered with a relief agency of Jordanian Christians who are dedicated to doing the work of evangelists among refugees. It was during this trip that I gained one of the most cherished experiences that I have ever had since my own conversion. You see, a primary way that this agency facilitates outreach is through visiting the apartments of refugees. During these visits, staff members and volunteers bring essential food and clothing, as well as take inventory of any specific needs that a family may have. While on these home visits, they also engage in religious dialogue with the intention of sharing the gospel.

The story that I would like to share is the apartment visit with an 80-year-old man and his wife, who are Muslim refugees from Syria. As we sat together, they told us about their needs, as well as their journey from Syria to Jordan. In the midst of the conversation, our interpreter stopped and told us that he wanted to share the gospel with this man, but was concerned about his wife. In the past, he had spoken with the man and shared some things about Christianity but had yet to speak of such things with his wife. It is important to note that in Jordan it is illegal to proselytize, meaning that it is illegal to try and convince someone to change their religion. So, when you do not know how one is going to react to the gospel, you must be very careful in sharing it.

After telling us his concern, the interpreter asked our team if we had any ideas on how to approach sharing the gospel with this couple. I took a moment to pray, and the story of a man by the name of Dennis was laid on my heart. Dennis was a man from my home church who was much loved by our congregation. Despite being sick with cancer, he had such amazing joy and was not afraid, even when he knew that his time on earth was coming to an end. I began to tell Dennis’s story to this couple, and as I said to them that Dennis was not afraid to die, the wife cried out with tears. She told us that both she and her husband were afraid of death. I asked her why she was afraid of death, and she said that it was because she was not sure whether they had been obedient enough for God to let them into heaven. I explained to them that Dennis was confident unto death not because of any kind of obedience or good work that he had done, but because he knew and trusted that God loved him. 

After I shared this story, a member of our team, David, told the couple the story of Jesus being crucified next to two criminals. He explained how one criminal, like this man and his wife, was terrified of death because he knew that he could not meet God’s standard of righteousness. But upon trusting in Jesus, who is the Son of God sent to take away the sins of the world, the criminal was saved. David then got on his knees and asked the man and his wife if they believe this truth and wish to accept Christ, and both of them cried out that they believe. At that very moment, we saw two elderly people, who had been Muslim their entire lives, profess faith in Jesus. Behold the power of Almighty God! 

I left Jordan with a burden on my heart.  The call for us as God’s workers to reap a ready harvest and to disciple new believers was evident.  It has been both wonderful and convicting to share my experiences in Jordan with brothers and sisters in Christ. If you sense in any way a call to pray, to give, or even to go share Jesus with Muslims, I urge you to contact a World Outreach mobilizer through www.epcwo.org/go/. If you know a college-aged young person who is considering a life of ministry or missions, please share this story and invite them to join us at www.epcwo.org/cohort. Your life, their life, and countless others could be changed forever. 

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all,

Danny Cridelich
Highview EPC, Dousman
Christ Alone Church, Green Bay

Community Life

Support Syrian Refugees

If you feel called to support ministry partners as they share the love of Christ with Syrian Refugees, consider doing so through the Syrian Refugee Relief Fund. Donations to this fund will help with the Syrian refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe. The EPC is joining with church partners in Lebanon, Turkey, and Germany to not only assist refugees with physical needs, but also to share the gospel to meet their spiritual needs.

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Prayers about the Invasion of Ukraine | the Reach February 2022

But the LORD sits enthroned forever;
he has established his throne for justice,
and he judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with uprightness.
The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 9:7-10

Dear friends,

The scriptures continually remind us that the LORD is enthroned forever; He is in control establishing His throne for justice. The Kingdom of God has come, despite the chaos and darkness around us, He promises to always be with His people and that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Would you please pray with us for peace in region, and even more that all those people would know the name of our living LORD and put their trust in Him!

  • PRAY for all involved in the region to know the name of our LORD and put their trust in him. People often turn to the Lord in crises.
  • PRAY for peace in the region and wisdom as leaders work toward that peace.
  • PRAY for our ministry partners in the region. Some are in the middle of the situation, while others are far from the action but sanctions have closed the movement of funds and on-going ministry in the area.
  • PRAY for all the ministries located in the neighboring countries bordering Ukraine who are taking in thousands of refugees. The refugees are women, children, and older men since the younger men, 18 to 60, have been required to remain in Ukraine, available to fight. Already, approximately 120,000 Ukrainians have fled to other countries, including Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Czechia. This number is expected to swell greatly.

Additional Resources

Read several articles that offer context and additional prayer needs for Ukraine:
  • Read: Christians in Ukraine in the face of invasion: “Prayer is our weapon”
  • Read: ‘No justification’ for Russian invasion of Ukraine, say European evangelicals (christiantoday.com)
  • Read: Putin’s Spiritual Destiny (spiritual background to the conflict) 
  • Give to the EPC Disaster Relief Fund for the needs of displaced peoples and the on-the-ground ministry.